Patricia Lines describes homeschooling in the abstract for her article Homeschooling Comes of Age, as “one of the most significant social trends of the past half century.” This trend has sparked debate over its effectiveness and the quality of the students it produces. Roy Lechtrek, in The Case for Homeschooling, and Lines argue in favour of homeschooling while Benjamin Gorman, in An Argument Against Homeschooling, argues against it. All three of them agree that isolation in education, whether social or academic, is not beneficial to students. They also believe that religion plays a major role in the decision to homeschool students. The differences they have are a result of their agreement on these fundamental principles of education. Disagreement is over the execution of these principles and so the common ground is often implied through their ideas of the ideal method.
Lines argues that homeschooling is a viable alternative to traditional schooling, citing evidence from homeschoolers’ academic achievements and their involvement in society. She takes a more objective stance on the issue than Lechtrek who announces that public schools are “beyond repair” and ought to be replaced. Quoting studies on homeschoolers, he argues that homeschoolers are better in academics and at social adjustment. While both Lines and Lechtrek are in favour of homeschooling, they look at the subject with different intents.
Benjamin Gorman finds homeschooling too isolationist and lacking in teacher quality and student results. The article is written from the perspective of a teacher who has seen the problems of homeschooling. Like Lechtrek, he seeks to persuade the reader to see public schooling as the better system.
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...s being the primary motivation for homeschooling.
Socialisation is a major point of attack for homeschool critics and Gorman sees the lack of social interaction outside of homeschool circles as causing what he describes as “social retardation”. According to him homeschooled students do not have the opportunitiy to learn to behave with different people because they deal with so few. Lechtrek and Lines however do not agree. As Lines sees it, poor assumptions have been made about healthy socialisation. The studies she quotes found that homeschooled students have healthy interactions with their peers. Through this disagreement emerges the common ground they have: the need for healthy socialisation. Lechtrek found that public school socialisation full of competition and selfishness and in no way were homeschoolers “inferior to conventional school youth” in social skills.
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